State Fair, citing Covid-19 restrictions, pulls big name acts from grandstand line-up

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Covid-19 restrictions led The Delaware State Fair to pull popular performers, such as Hank Williams Jr. and Sam Hunt from the grandstand lineup. The fair runs from July 22July 31.

The changes were prompted by guidance received from the Delaware Division of Public Health, according to a release.

State health officials took some heat last year over a decision to allow the fair to operate on a limited basis. No outbreaks of Covid-19 were tied to the fair. At the time, Covid-19 case numbers had been trending down.

Fair officials, departing from past practice, declined to report attendance figures for the 2020 fair.

Prior to the pandemic, the fair had been seeing an uptick in attendance and had gained national attention for its efforts. The fair is a private organization with ties to the state’s agricultural community.

The fair also fought off challenges to its annual country-focused musical line-up that included short-lived festivals.

In complying Covid-19 social distancing requirements that come out of the state and the federal Center for Disease Control, the capacity of the M&T Bank Grandstand has been dramatically reduced. That led fair management to reconsider the lineup that has been on sale since last November, the release stated.

“Unfortunately, we cannot offer Pit or VIP Loft tickets this year” stated Assistant General Manager Danny Aguilar. The track area will be set up with 222 pods seating 888 ticket holders comprised of groups of four seats arranged and separated from other pods with social distancing guidelines in mind. Track seats can only be purchased in as a group of 4 seats. Ticket buyers looking for two, four or six seats will have choices in the stadium bleacher and grandstand areas. In the bleacher and grandstand areas, every other row has been taken out of service and 2 empty chairs must be preserved between ticket buying parties.

“Fair leadership and management genuinely appreciate the advice we were able to receive from the Department (Division) of Public Health” said Fair General Manager Bill DiMondi. “Unfortunately, the six largest shows on sale until this week have to be cancelled because they were not compatible with the Covid-19 mandated lowered capacity of only 2,500 sellable seats for each concert and 1,500 seats for our wheel events like the demo derby and monster truck show”, he stated.

The Fair announced that refunds are being made to all customer who purchased tickets directly from the fair for the Roots and Boots show scheduled for June 12thin the Quillen Arena and all fairtime shows that were on sale up until this week.

Stricken from the fair lineup were Sam Hunt, TobyMac, Tedeschi Trucks Band, I Love the 90’s Tour and Hank Williams Jr..

  • Monster Truck Show on Thursday July 22nd,
  • Blippi, The Musica.
  • Lauren Alaina with Maddie & Tae will appear on Saturday July 24th;
  • Demolition Derby presented by Taylor and Messick will appear on Sunday July 25th;
  • Riley Green will headline his own show Monday July 26th;
  • Tracy Byrd and Jo Dee Messina will perform on Tuesday July 27th;
  • HARDY with Jon Langston will appear on stage on Wednesday July 28th;
  • Harness Racing on Thursday July 29th;
  • Contemporary Christian artists Zach Williams and Stephen Stanley presented by The Bridge will perform on Saturday July 31st.

Ticket sales for the new lineup will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Wednesday April 21ston the fair’s websitewww.delawarestatefair.com.

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